A 25-year-old Coweta man recently lost his life in an apparently preventable crash that led to the arrest of the driver of the vehicle. A trooper with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said reckless driving caused the accident. As is often reported in many SUV accidents, none of the occupants of this vehicle were restrained by seat belts.
According to an accident report, the driver was traveling on the shoulder of a road in Wagoner County. When he attempted to re-enter the roadway, he lost control and overcorrected. This apparently caused the SUV to roll over and land in a ditch. The 26-year-old driver allegedly took flight and left the injured victims at the accident scene.
Reportedly, the five passengers all suffered injuries of varying severity. They were transported to hospitals in the area. One man died later that day, and two 23-year-old passengers were admitted to the hospital. The remaining two passengers were juveniles of which one was hospitalized while the other one was released after treatment.
The driver, who was located and arrested later, may now face civil claims and criminal charges. Along with a first-degree manslaughter charge, he is also accused of leaving the accident scene and driving without a valid driver’s license. Injured victims of SUV accidents — and the surviving family members of those who lost their lives — are entitled to pursue financial relief by filing personal injury or wrongful death claims, as appropriate, in an Oklahoma civil court. Once the plaintiffs have established negligence on the part of the driver, their documented claims for financial and emotional damages will be adjudicated.